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High and Low (1963 - Japan) (Movies To See Before You Die - World Cinema / Thriller)

16 Jun, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / World Cinema / 10 Most popular Articles AT BTC

High and Low

One of most appreciated and best works of legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa remains HIGH AND LOW (1962) which is a highly engrossing police investigative thriller revolving around a mistaken kidnap of a wrong kid. The film is loosely based on King's Ransom (1959) - An 87th Precinct series novel by Ed McBain, with certain changes made in its cinematic adaptation by the maestro.
The story talks about a supposedly rich executive of a shoe company who gets caught in a moral dilemma when his chauffeur's son gets kidnapped by mistake instead of his own son and he is now being asked to pay the ransom. An outstanding police/detective film with a gripping story and brilliant sequences, its polished script progression keeps you hooked on to the screen, once the chase gets started. And without going into the extremes of high paced actions sequences shot in some appealing outdoor locations, the film successfully maintains a fascinating tension throughout staying indoors (mostly) and is a perfect example of the command, Kurosawa had on the creative medium.
With some excellent performances by the well chosen cast led by Kurosawa’s favourite Toshiro Mifune, HIGH AND LOW further becomes an even more important film with a social message, when the viewer actually gets to understand the hidden meaning behind its title HIGH AND LOW, pointing towards the ugly cast system prevailing in our societies since eternity. The original Japanese title of the film is HEAVEN AND HELL and the particular scenes showcasing Mifune’s lavish hilltop mansion from a low camera angle, beautifully sums up the theme representing the High (Heaven) and the Low (Hell) precisely.
In India, the film was unofficially well adapted by Raj Sippy for his INKAAR (1977) featuring Vinod Khanna, Shreeram Lagoo, Vidya Sinha and Amjad Khan in the lead roles. But reportedly it had a major negative impact in Japan itself when incidents of kidnappings went on a rise after the film’s release in the early 60s. Plus (as per IMDB) Kurosawa himself received threats regarding kidnap of his daughter Kazuko, whereas he actually wanted to make a completely opposite impact on the kidnappers, hoping for some tougher sentences for the crime.
So if you really wish to see a thrilling yet meaningful investigative drama directed by one of finest directors of world cinema, then do watch HIGH AND LOW at the earliest and have a great time with the visionary master Akira Kurosawa.
Directed By Akira Kurosawa
Starring : Toshiro Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai and more.

Tags : High and Low (1963 - Japan), Movies To See Before You Die World Cinema Thriller, Must Watch Movies List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Akira Kurosawa's must watch films, World Cinema gems, Not To Be Missed Films List by Bobby Sing, Worth Watching Films List, High And Low, Heaven and Hell.
16 Jun 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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